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Brief Published: 24 Apr 2014

Cromatica: Hackable Light Speaker


Italian design studio Digital Habits has unveiled Cromatica, an ambient light generator and speaker that can be controlled by gestures or a smartphone app. It's the first project available for funding on Crowdrooster, a new tech-focused crowdfunding website housed in London's Makerversity space.

Out of the box, the device works as a programmable light, sunrise alarm, Bluetooth speaker and a microphone for taking calls. However, thanks to its open-source code and Arduino at Heart technology, Cromatica's potential extends beyond entertainment applications. For example, asthma sufferers could input data on ambient air quality and set sound or light triggers when pollution reaches concerning levels.

"There was a lot of talk a few years ago about technology catching up with biology," says Crowdrooster's Patrick Hussey. "I think with the [rise of the] maker movement... technology like this is catching up to psychology."

Connected, hackable technologies raise the potential for responsive design by harnessing the creativity of thousands of user-developers. Brands uneasy at the thought of open-source should note that Digital Habits and Cromatica are both commercial ventures. Cromatica has already raised close to €20,000 ($27,590) through crowdfunding, and will begin shipping as a consumer product later this year.

For more on customisable, responsive technologies, see our Agile Futures Macro Trend. For a deeper insight into the maker movement, take a look at Everyone's an Engineer, part of the Thinking Digitally Industry Trend.